The Catch

(A writing to Dewey Gillespie from a very respected friend AJH)


The Fish

 Listen little fish, and a tale I’ll relate,

So make yourself comfortable now on my plate.

This tale is true, so take heed, my dear,

If you had kept your mouth closed, you wouldn’t be here.

The powerful rod responds to the heavy line and pushes my fly into the wind, a great fuzzy thing that will float high in almost anything short of a cataract.  Made of deer hair and thread, the big fly, jokingly called a “Haystack” seems to live atop the foamy flood, turning a little despite the tampering leader.  I cast and then inch forward a foot and try again.  My back aches a little from the rigid bracing against the river.  There is some sort of a flash beneath the fly, an obscure change of colour that somehow does not fit the bottom pattern.  I cast again and try to duplicate the drift.  A dark shadow appears, shooting up quickly in two feet of water to erase the big fly and show a broad fin and edge of a wide translucent tail.  I set the hook violently against eight pounds of leader test line and the line sings up stream, throwing a little geyser of spray.  I back away awkwardly towards shore, my fish working in spurts and pauses against the current, then tiring suddenly and sweeping down stream to hold behind rock after rock with angry head shaking.  Four pounds of sea trout aided by tons of swift water is finally beached and killed.